After the smooth finish of Greater Visakhapatnam, Municipal Corporation polls held on the 10th of March, now the entire district administration and GVMC officials are leaving no stone unturned for ensuring the hassle-free counting process in a conducive ambiance. Counting will begin from at 8 a.m. on March 14 for all 98 wards of the GVMC simultaneously.
The district administration has identified 98 rooms in the Andhra University campus for the counting process, alloting one room for each ward. The ballot papers were kept in strong rooms, near the counting room, to save time needed to shift the boxes to the counting rooms. Also, for ease of counting process, the district administration has separated the locations zone-wise. The counting process for Zones 2, 3, 4 and 6 will be done in the north campus of the university and for zones 1, 5, 7 and 8 will be done on the south campus.
In all counting rooms, CCTV cameras have been installed and one videographer will be present in each room. Towards this end, an exclusive Command and Control Centre equipped with integrated LED screens that are linked to the CCTV cameras, has also been set up on the campus for strict monitoring by the officials during the counting process. The district collector V Vinaya Chand said that “The counting process is expected to take at least 12 hours and will run non-stop. For this entire exercise, more than 3,000 staff from the district administration and GVMC will be involved in the process.”
Other staff like returning officers, AROs, GVMC zonal commissioners and eight officers of the rank of Deputy Collector will also be there apart from the 3000 staff. The north and south campus locations will be under the control of one Joint Collector and they will report to the District Collector and GVMC Commissioner. According to the requirement from the wards, each room will have five to 10 tables and each table will have one counting supervisor and three counting assistants.
As the counting process will be a non-stop process, free food and water is being provided. Agents from all the parties who will be present in the room will be provided paid refreshments. Candidates also can be present in the room. The modus operandi of the counting process is that once the ballot papers are extracted from the sealed boxes in the presence of senior officers, they will be bundled with 25 papers in each. Subsequently, they will be randomized by putting them in a big drum and each counting assistant will be given 40 bundles at a time, which will be considered as rounds.
For the dissemination of information of the live results, the district administration is setting up a media room with all facilities such as computers, power connections and Wi-Fi. Apart from this, two LED screens will be on display the round-wise results for regular updates. The final results may be declared by 8p.m, if everything goes according to the plan, said Collector V Vinay Chand.